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Arcadia Umbra Institute General Studies
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Mary K McDevitt

Liberal Arts Major: Labor and Employment Relations
Hometown: Audubon, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I have been interested in studying abroad since I started college. I did some research on Penn State's Global Programs website. Once I narrowed down areas I was interested in I visited the global studies offices. I was able to reach more information and exchange emails with students who previously studied in Perugia, Italy.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Perugia has an extremely special place in my heart. Perugia is a smaller city around 2 hours away from Rome. It is a city where you experience a true Italian way of life. I went abroad to a place I had little information about with no one I knew. I met some of my best friends from this program and gained an amazing outlook on life. Perugia, Italy in general, opened my eyes to a different way of life. I had to change and adapt to the way Italians operate. I am so grateful that I was able to study in such a beautiful area. Many nights we watched the sunset and would say how lucky we were to live in a place like this. I think that sums up much of my abroad experience. I am blessed and grateful for the opportunity I had to study abroad in the most beautiful place with the most amazing people.

How did this experience impact you academically?

My professors and the staff in Italy were beyond amazing. These individuals made class and school so enjoyable. Being abroad may seem like a vacation, but I always enjoyed attending my classes. I was lucky to have saved my gen eds and electives for my study abroad experience. I was able to study and learn about a variety of intriguing subjects. I was able to learn about worldly topics. My professors also spoke multiple languages and were very scholarly. I was able to learn about their life in Italy and ask them questions about Italy.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I plan to graduate in May of 2019. I am majoring in Labor and Employment Relations. I plan to work in the field of Human Resources. My time abroad connected me with people from places around the globe. Through traveling and activities I met people from all over. In the human resources department you are focused on working for the people of the company. I believe being able to learn more about people from different places will help me in my future career. I have expanded my knowledge and skills which will transfer over to my career.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Absolutely. Studying abroad in general is such a rewarding experience. Not only will you connect with and meet such amazing people, but you will find yourself calling the place you study "home". Perugia, Italy is such an amazing city. It is exactly the place you would want to call home. Every weekend I spent traveling was amazing, but I looked forward to being able to return back to Perugia. The town and people are so welcoming. The school is in the center of Perugia which is an amazing location. Arcadia did a great job of preparing us to go abroad and giving us useful information prior to our arrival. I felt very safe in Perugia.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

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